The U.S. helicopter missing in Nepal disappeared on Tuesday with four Marines on board. Conflicting reports about sightings of the missing helicopter emerged on Wednesday. U.S. Pacific Command officials told the media that the department “could not confirm” any of the possibly sightings of the missing United States military aircraft.
The missing U.S. helicopter was also carrying two Nepali armed forces members. The Marine chopper was last spotted north of the Nepal earthquake epicenter near the capital of Kathmandu. The UH-1 Huey typically carries a crew of four, but can handle six additional armed forces members.
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“We have been told it was spotted in Tamakoshi region,” Interior Ministry spokesman Laxmi Dhakal said. “But until [our] choppers make landing and get to it, we still can’t say anything about its condition or of its passengers.” The missing U.S. helicopter was reportedly delivering tarps and rice to victims near Charikot.
A Nepali military official separately said Wednesday that the helicopter appeared to have come down in the rivers that run through valleys east of Kathmandu. Nepali military officials stated on Wednesday that the U.S. Marine helicopter was spotted “in the rivers” that run through the valleys around the capital.
“There are 400-plus of our ground troops looking for it also. By this evening, we might get it,” he added. The information we have is that it is down in one of the rivers, but none of the choppers has seen it yet,” second-in-command of the Barda Bahadur Battalion,said.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the U.S. helicopter was a part of USAID Nepal earthquake relief efforts. There have been no reports of a crash since the Marine chopper lost contact with ground units earlier today, according to military officials.
The U.S. Marine helicopter was tasked with carrying out Nepal earthquake disaster relief in the Kathmandu region. An Indian helicopter was also flying in the vicinity when radio traffic about a possible fuel problem with the U.S. helicopter were heard, U.S. Army Colonel Steve Warren said. The Marine pilot may have put the chopper on the ground in in a remote area in the mountains.
U.S. Pacific Command spokesman Army Major Dave Eastburn informed the media that two UH-1 Huey helicopters left Kathmandu to aid in the search for the missing U.S. helicopter. Each of the helicopters carried two pararescuemen, one Nepalese soldier, and several Marines, according to Major Eastburn.
“We remain optimistic in our efforts,” the Army Major added.
Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren said there were “no indications of a crash,” and added that no emergency beacon has been detected.
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